Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reflection amid song

As this semester comes to a close, with impending flights to warmer, family-filled places and an end to this grading, I've been thinking a lot (too much?!) about all the things that have come together to make this semester feel so auspicious,* so productive, so full of hope. These things are many, and perhaps will be elaborated upon further in blog posts to come, but one of them has most certainly been a return to our roots for both Justin and me--musical satisfaction and conversation/affection, respectively. Interestingly enough, both of these sets of roots have been planted in the soil provided by a new friend, who has brought with him both reminders of Annas and Justins past, and a chance for some guerrilla wassailing.

Guerrilla waissalling, or glorified Christmas caroling,  is a lovely combination of four-part harmony and college spontaneity.  Justin had been practicing a few songs with a group of (mostly) UW undergrads for the last few weeks, which all culminated in several outings to coffee shops and breakfast nooks, pizza places and public buses, complete with vibrant renditions of Joy to the World and We Three Kings.

Here, the waissallers regaled a friend of ours with song. I particularly love the gleeful look on our friend's face (and his thumbs-up!) as he took in the beautiful voices and wondered how he got so lucky:

*I first came to know the word "auspicious" when my high school roommate was studying for the SATs and would go around saying "'auspicious' is an auspicious word." Later, on the first day of training when I worked at Interlochen, the Intermediate Girls Lakeside staff did an icebreaker where we had to go around and say our names along with an adjective that began with the same letter as our names. I said "Auspicious Anna."  The next day, the administrators asked if I wanted to be a unit leader for the summer (which included a pay raise and slightly more prestige). I accepted, not knowing why they chose me even though it was my first summer at Interlochen and I was younger than many of the other counselors. Later in the summer, when I asked my boss why I was chosen for this position, she said it was because I had used the word "auspicious" during that icebreaker on the first day of the summer.  An auspicious word indeed.

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